Mountain and ridge hiking is exciting, challenging and, once you reach the top, awe inspiring. But my favourite hikes on this trip to Oahu have been the costal hikes. Coastal hikes are less strenuous that climbing and that is a major plus for my over-used knees. I love the music of the waves that accompanies me as I walk and the ever-changing face of the craggy shore being shaped and changed by the constant pounding of Oahu's famous waves.

Here are a few shots from some of the costal hikes…



I had such well intentioned plans – every day I was going to hike all day and come home and write a short post about the hike at night. Apparently, the road to hell is paved with good intentions. No posts for days. But not for lack of material. The hikes and scenery have been exotic, craggy, lava strewn, green, lush and visually stunning. Our hikes have taken us past total extremes in landscape.

Each day of hiking begins the same way. We mean to get up and get going early…really early this time! After farting around and losing stuff and changing our minds and generally wasting time, we finally get on the road … and drive to Starbucks. We stop at Starbucks to get our morning jolt and because Marianna has a $100 Hawaii Starbucks card – that requires another post to explain.

Monday, January 26

Today we hiked in a huge botanical garden. Situated on lush 400 acres in Kaneohe, at the foot of the majestic Ko'olau Mountain Range, the Ho'omaluhia Botanical Garden is a peaceful park (and dense jungle!) that is home to hundreds of plant species, divided into geographical regions as diverse as the Philippines, Africa, Sri Lanka, India, Malaysia, Tropical America, Polynesia, Melanesia and Hawaii. There are miles of roads, paths and tracks to be explored…and we did! It was overwhelming to be walking through such an abundance of flora and fauna.

I introduced Marianna to geocaching. We had a great time tracking down this cache called Chips Ahoy.
We walked and walked and walked surrounded buy some of the most lush, varied and beautiful vegetation I have seen.


A three hour tour…

The first item in preplanning of course is the pedicure. Must take those feet from lobster claws to fabulous and make them ready for prime time. I feel sorry for the little Chinese lady who had to toil away over my 10 little piggies. But Marianna's lady said hers were worse…

They turned out pretty well…considering.
All packed and finally off! We managed to make it across the boarder, even though Marianna was driving. Even driving at 3 miles an hour, we still managed to jump a couple of curbs. My heart was beating hard when we realized that we were in the truck lane at customs and Marianna pulled a giant U-turn and drove across 7 lanes and all the way across the Customs plaza. I'm surprised they didn't take us and for possible drunkenness.

The flight from Detroit to LA was packed. Marianna and I found our seat and were arranging our carry-on baggage when a very, very large man, smelling strongly of garlic sat down in our little row of three.

No problem, we decided that we would switch seats half way through the flight so that neither Marianna nor I had to spend the entire flight squashed Against a sweaty fat garlicky man. We could never have predicted the nightmare that would follow on this fateful flight.…




No, I haven't fallen down a rabbit hole…after our hair-raising adventures on the way here, you might think that we'd never go out again but we have been all over the island. The problem with getting a post done seems to be staying awake long enough after dinner to prepare one. I have plenty of photos and video for you…if I could just stay up after a long day outside. The connection isn't great here for uploading videos. I hope to post one soon though.

In the mean time – although I don't have time to provide the background, here is a brief snapshot of the past couple of days…a teaser.








Back in the land where there is electricity and occasional Internet – I can start sending the occasional missive.

Ok, it’s was ridiculously, stupendously, awesomely, jaw droppingly beautiful (seriously, there aren’t enough superlatives….. So from now on just insert your own from now on). The landscape we walked through today was stunning. Much of the time we simply walked in silence, just drinking it in. I am afraid that our photos can’t begin to do it justice. There is a vastness that can’t be captured.

We will do a quick review of the day here and there is another other post (Green Tangbe) that is also part of today’s hike.


A 7 am start takes us through the village of Kangbeni, north towards Chhusang.


The village is waking up, taking the goats through the village and up into the mountains for the day



The rising sun shines on the mountain…

View original post 235 more words

Neckboards on sale at the library

Take an hour on November 12th to drop by the Riverside Library…


In praise of rusty things…

Myths, like art, are attempts to catch a glimpse of undiscovered country. They take everyday existence and transform it into something remarkable. It is through these stories that misfortunes are transformed into adventures, attractions are transformed into everlasting love, and the process of life and death is transformed into a magnificent mechanism that operates beyond our line of sight.”     ~Michael deMeng

The following photographs are a series that studies what was left behind.

I find color,  interest and design in the chaos.  My eye wants to wander around –  follow the lines, find the small things, look for treasure.

rusty things-8

rusty things-9rusty things-16

rusty things-10

rusty things-12

rusty things-19

rusty things-18

rusty things-27

rusty things-21

rusty things-23

rusty things-22

rusty things-20

rusty things-26

rusty things-15

From India to Istanbul to Fredericton – a taste experiment

Andrea and I had a wonderful eggplant dish in Istanbul at an indian restaurant named Dubb. Loved it, loved it, loved it! After much searching, we think we may have found the recipe. This blog entry charts our attempt at duplicating the beloved Dubb taste treat. Wearing our new aprons (given to us by Eric and Chris), we forged ahead into uncharted gastronomic territory.

Photo 11-09-04 10 03 12 AM

Punjabi Baingan Bharta is just one of the several versions of eggplant bharta there are in Indian cooking. The word ‘bharta’ (pronounced BHURR-taah) refers to dishes in which the ingredients are roughly mashed either before or after the dish is prepared. Bhartas are largely North Indian in origin and made from all sorts of vegetables. This recipe serves 4.


  • 3 medium-sized eggplants (roughly 500gms/ 1 pound)
  • 2 tbsps vegetable/ sunflower/ canola cooking oil
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 2 medium-sized onions chopped fine
  • 1 tbsp garlic paste or garlic chopped very fine
  • 1″ piece of ginger grated fine
  • 2 green chillies or other hot stuff
  • 2 large tomatoes chopped fine
  • 1/2 tsp coriander powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin powder
  • 1/2 tsp garam masala
  • 2 tbsps finely chopped fresh green coriander

Photo 11-09-04 10 13 58 AM

For this recipe, Andrea ground all the spices for an heavenly, aromatic garam masala from scratch. Worth it just for the scents!


Photo 11-09-04 10 03 21 AM

Baingan Ka Bharta requires that the eggplant be roasted, and by roasted, I mean charred and left on the grill long past when you think you should remove them. Roast on a gas cooktop or a BBQ by just placing the eggplant straight on the burner and keeping the flame on med-low setting. Keep turning and cooking till all the skin on the eggplant is charred and the inner flesh looks really soft. A good sign to watch for is that the eggplant seems to ‘cave in’ on itself.

Once the eggplant is roasted, allow it to cool fully and then peel off and discard the charred skin.

Once cool, coarsely mash and keep aside for later use.

Photo 11-09-04 10 22 13 AMNow set up a pan on medium heat and add the cooking oil.

When hot, add the cumin seeds and cook till the spluttering stops.

Photo 11-09-04 10 03 25 AM

Add the onions and fry till soft and translucent.

Add the garlic and the ginger and fry for 1 minute.

Add the tomato and all the powdered spices, including the garam masala. Stir well and cook for 3-5 minutes, stirring often to prevent the spice mix from sticking to the pan. Sprinkle a little water if needed.

Photo 11-09-04 10 18 41 AM

Now add the eggplant and mix well. Add the chopped fresh coriander and stir.

Cook another minute and turn off the heat.

Serve hot with chapitis or Rice and your favorite daal dish.

It is good! I don’t think we quite captured Dubb’s unique flavours, our our version is very tasty.

Photo 11-09-04 10 39 51 AM

Photo 11-09-04 10 52 46 AM

She’s been around…

This baby has been rode hard. Handmade from a skateboard that looks like it has been around the world and back. Think about wearing all that speed and joy around your neck. Think about the stories this Neckboard could tell. It is the scrapes and the scuffs that make a Neckboard something special. Zebra stripes lilac and black…it’s an original!

Check out the rest of the latest batch of one-of-a-kind skateboard necklaces HERE


I finally managed to get a few new (broken, smashed, scuffed) skateboards! I advertised on kijiji and got a response fro “schizo skater”. He has several boards he’d trashed and was willing to donate to the cause. I met Schizo at a Tim Hortons and he was a real sweetheart. I gave him a couple of keychains with skateboard dongles and thanked him profusely. It really is great when someone is willing to help me out with a donation!

I can’t tell how much usable area I can get from each one, but it looks like I may get some interesting art.

It will be too hot for the next few days to get any cut up, but I’m almost finished working the grip tape off. It’s a dirty job.

hopefully, in 3 or 4 weeks, you’ll see me posting photos of the Neckboards I made from these boards.

Big, bold, beautiful

Complexity. This large Neckboard has a lot going on. Purple is splashed across the surface to top up some premium scuff work done by a wild skater. Black calms the left side of the necklace down and provides a pool for four gold tadpoles to swim to the top. Gold rivets down the center hold it all together. Everyone sees something different when they look at this handmade necklace.


This upcycled skateboard necklace and many others are available for online purchase HERE

Basic black and cool

Jet black and so smooth it looks as though it’s made of glass. This upcycled skateboard is cool, confident and ever-so-funky. Black is statement of the necklace, but little shoots of yellow, white dots and a quirky little red and white flag bring it up to another level. The board this Neckboard was made from was one of those seldom seen beauties, with layers of teal tinted maple sandwiched between natural wood. Finished off with a stainless steel cable and a great, no-fiddle magnetic clasp…nice.


Want to see more Neckboards? Fresh ones just made and put in the shop, right here – click, baby, click

Here is one for a skater

This Neckboard is for a real skater. Almost all of the art on this necklace is clean deck art – hard to find on a well travelled board. Sharp, edgy, a real statement. The warm layers of maple beneath the funky deck art make an interesting contrast. People will take note of you with this handmade Neckboard floating around your neck on a thin, super strong, nylon covered stainless steel chord. $30.

Take a look at all the other unique Neckboards HERE

Layered gold

Could this complex gold on gold creation really have been a skateboard at one time? The seven layers of alternating light and dark maple showing on the side of the necklace say yes. Around your neck, this Neckboard looks more like liquid gold swirling in glass. Look closely at this stunning piece, you’ll see gold in 2 tones, hints of green and yellow peeking out from behind and black dots floating over top. The back of this necklace is maple, stained a medium grey and showing the wood grain. It’s deep…

Many more Neckboards are available for purchase at my website HERE All of these handmade beauties are carefully crafted, using the best materials. Saving broken skateboard decks and giving them a new life makes recycling a beautiful thing.

Jungle love

It’s dark in the jungle. Hints of sunlight light up the bright green leaves. Bamboo waves gently in the wind. This upcycled skateboard gives me the feeling of jungle. Some great scuffs add to the feeling of movement. Imagine this handmade Neckboard around your neck when you are stepping out wearing that cute little black dress. $30.

This Neckboard and almost 70 other one of a kind creations can be purchased from my website. click here to go there –

Flutter by…

This Neckboard is unlike any other that I’ve made before. The art on the skateboard was completely scraped off from some hard riding so there was a blank canvas to work with. I thought I’d try something different. The butterfly flutters up from below to link up with circles and polkadots. Unique. $30.


All Neckboards are handmade from recycled skateboards. You can access the Neckboard shop through my website click here to go there now

This is a keeper

This is my very favorite Neckboard of the last batch I made. I like it so much, I think I’ll have to keep it – that’s the only perk of being the artist. This is a Neckboard that looks equally fab with jeans or an evening gown. It has some great natural scuffs down the center, balanced by the smooth black and white on either side. It matches everything and looks great naked too!

I have a line on some new boards so look for another batch coming up in August sometime.


Almost 70 one-of-a-kind Neckboards are available now online Click here to get to my website

Peace, baby

Purple, lilac and green combine to make this upcycled skateboard a distinctive necklace.  A peace sign near the center gives it some added flair and makes a statement too.  A few scuffs left over from the freedom of the ride make it complete.  Seven layers of natural maple riding on nylon covered, stainless steel that closes with a silver magnetic clasp…that’s a Neckboard.  Handmade with love & peace, baby.

Day Seven

Neckboards can be purchased through my website –


Classic style

Black, white, brown and gold combine to create a semi-formal (yet still funky) Neckboard.  This baby has geometric style with a quirky little line diagram thrown in to mix it up.  The back of the Neckboard is natural maple and it rides on a thin line of nylon coated stainless steel.  The whole thing is held together by a super strong magnetic clasp and 2 onyx beads.   $30

Day Six

Neckboards can be purchased through my website at  Go to the SHOP tab.

Lilac jazz

Whimsical comes to mind when you see this Neckboard.  A rare one, cut from a skateboard in pastel hues of lilac, lime and white.  This is a large Neckboard, but it won’t overpower.  The back of the board is natural maple and the sides are alternating light and dark layers of natural maple.  All my Neckboards are handmade, one of a kind pieces of art that you can wear.


Day Five

All the Neckboards featured in the Neckboard-a-day campaign can be purchased through my website at  Go to the SHOP tab